This story is from the category Health
Date posted: 11/07/2012
A 60-year old resident of Sicklerville, New Jersey, USA, has become the first recipient of a successful distal pancreatectomy surgical procedure which was completed not through purely human means, but using the robotic waldo assistance of a Da Vinci surgical unit to provide the actual surgery, and minimise both operation and recuperation time.
"It was a no-brainer," said patient Eugene Allen, whose surgeon Harish Lavu, M.D., FACS, an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, performed the procedure in late March. "I wanted to get back to my life as quickly as possible. It was no doubt the right choice because the recovery time was cut in half."
A distal pancreatectomy, often used to treat pancreatic tumors and cysts, is a procedure in which the body and tail of the pancreas are removed, usually along with the entire spleen.
Allen could have undergone open surgery, which would have removed the cyst just as successfully, but it would have required a larger incision and longer recovery.
"This procedure is opening up doors in different ways," said Dr. Lavu. "It's making it easier on the patient because it offers up shorter hospital stays, less risk of infection and less scarring and bleeding. Most importantly, it gets the patients back to their daily activity quicker."
With the robotic arms, a surgeon can perform delicate operations through tiny incisions, which are used to introduce miniaturized wristed instruments to remove the cysts or tumors and a high-definition 3-D camera to view a magnified image of the surgical site, enhancing visualization.
In Allen's case, the procedure, in which Dr. Lavu took 40 percent of his pancreas, was a preventative measure, removing a precancerous cyst that could have developed into a tumor. That cyst was found by his urologist after he had bladder stone surgery last October. His doctor then ordered an MRI and CT scan to get a better look. The tests later revealed the cyst, so he came to the Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary and Related Cancer Center to see a surgeon.
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